Wild Schools Film Challenge FAQs

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Below are frequently asked questions about the Wild Schools Film Challenge. If you have a different query, please contact us on 0117 917 7270 or email schools@avonwildlifetrust.org.uk.

How long can we borrow the film kit for?

Each kit box is loaned out for a period of three weeks including collection and return from our office at 32 Jacobs Wells Road, Bristol, BS8 1DR. After you've booked the kit box we'll confirm the collection and return dates. This enables us to prepare the kit box for your school and the next one. Depending on demand and time of year the kit box may be available for longer if requested.

What if something gets broken?

While we ask that you please try to look after the equipment we understand that sometimes kit gets accidentally broken even when it is looked after. We've chosen waterproof and shockproof cameras so that you can be confident using our equipment for your films whatever the weather and we've thoroughly tested the equipment to choose the most suitable and robust. If, however, any of the equipment gets broken please let us know as soon as possible so that we can order replacements before the next school borrows the kit. We have insurance that covers all of the equipment. If however you would like to take extra precautions we recommend that you add them to your school's insurance policy while the kit boxes are with you.

What if something goes missing?

We understand that whilst working on your films some kit can be mislaid, in particular smaller items such as spoons. To help you with collecting in all of the equipment after your filming activities we've included an inventory in the kit box and ask that you please check the equipment against this inventory before returning the kit to our offices.

What do we do after filming?

After you've used the kit box, the children will need to have access to computers and Windows Movie Maker. Movie Maker is free software to download and often installed as standard on Windows computers. If you do not already have the software on your computer you can download it from windows.microsoft.com. We've chosen to use Windows Movie Maker as it is easy for children to use. It is also free so they can use it at home if they want to make their own movies after your school project has finished. For more information about how to use Movie Maker, tips and guides please visit our resources page.

What do we do when we have finished our films?

There are many different ideas on how you can show off your films and other projects you can get involved with on our resources page. Many thanks to everyone who entered our competition in 2015. 

How do we receive and return our kit box?

All of our kit boxes are stored at our head office; 32 Jacobs Wells Road, Bristol, BS8 1DR and are available for collection and return within office hours (usually 8.30am to 5pm). The kit box consists of one large box and five tripods in bags. The large box measures 759 x 473 x 486mm and has wheels and a handle. It is large and heavy, so transport will be required as it is too large to carry or pull for long distances.

How can the kit box be used across the curriculum and be part of learning outside the classroom?

To help support the curriculum we have designed resources and suggested lesson plans to make the most of the learning opportunity.  Plans include how to storyboard as part of literacy and ideas on how you can link science and other areas of the curriculum to make this project a class theme for your curriculum learning. We've found that this project has supported many cross-curricular learning opportunities and is a fun and engaging way to learn outside the classroom.

Why use digital cameras rather than video recorders?

We trialled many different digital cameras and video recorders with children during the pilot phase of the project. We wanted to ensure that they were robust and waterproof cameras so that they could be used in all weathers with confidence. We also found that digital cameras were more familiar to students and they enjoyed using them more. We hope that this project will encourage students to get outdoors more with their families and explore nature through filming. Families are more likely to own a digital camera than a video recorder making sure that anyone can get involved and enjoy the project.

If you're not a school can you still use the kit box?

We are keen to make sure that these kit boxes get as much use as possible. Other groups working with school-aged children can use the kit boxes. As this project is funded to support the school curriculum we would be able to offer the kit boxes for use out of school term during holidays or during the autumn and winter terms depending on availability.

How can we improve our school grounds for wildlife and filming?

As part of the project we've included information and ideas for improving your school grounds from simple log piles right through to creating your own willow hide. Please visit our resources page for more information.

Is it for a whole class or just eco clubs?

Wild Schools Film Challenge is flexible and can be used by all different groups within your school. It is designed to support the National Curriculum and can be used for a class or alternatively as part of an after schools project. Why not get several groups within the school involved and have the class that have completed the project be the professional filmmakers and share their skills with other classes, years, clubs etc?